Blue Mass Celebrated in honor of first responders Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, May. 17, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
blue mass
Madison Fire Department Chief Steven Davis, left, and UW-Madison Police Chief Kristen Roman light memorial candles at the annual Blue Mass for first responders on May 10 at St. Bernard Church in Madison. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- For the second straight year, St. Bernard Parish in Madison hosted the annual Blue Mass in honor of all first responders.

Fr. Michael Radowicz, pastor of St. Bernard, celebrated the Mass, along with several other priests from the Diocese of Madison.

In attendance were Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, Madison Fire Department Chief Steven Davis, UW-Madison Police Chief Kristen Roman, members of their departments, and members of surrounding police, fire, and emergency worker agencies in Dane County.

Thanks for service

During his homily, Father Radowicz told those in attendance to “know there are a great many who appreciate the good work that you do, and we see that love and faithfulness in which you serve us every single day” and “the lord has endowed each of you with special gifts that allow you to be Christ for people in some of the most difficult moments of their lives”.

Later in the Mass, Chiefs Davis and Roman lit memorial candles in honor of those who have died in service to community.

Of special remembrance was Rick Garner, Jr., a 29-year-old Madison firefighter who recently died, shortly after finishing his shift.

Remarks from leaders

At the conclusion of the Mass, the chiefs and sheriff gave some remarks to those in attendance.

“I know a lot of people are praying for us . . . that means a great deal,” said Chief Koval, and added that faith is the “armor” that fills the gaps and seams that a bullet-resistant vest can’t fully cover.

Sheriff Mahoney reflected on how nearly four decades ago, he “answered what I believe to be, the calling of our Lord to serve the public as a law enforcement officer.”

Also helping with the Mass was the choir from St. Bernard who provided music ministry and the Knights of Columbus Bishop William O’Connor 4th Degree Assembly, who served as honor guard.

A reception was held after the Mass, sponsored by Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care who also assisted as Mass greeters.

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